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No 4 Wheel Drive

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by snow tender, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. snow tender

    snow tender Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    Went out to plow today and had no 4 wheel drive. 97 F 250 turn the switch and the lights come on but will not lock in. Don't know much about the fords.Last time 4 wheel drive was used was last March. Any help would be great.
  2. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 877

    If you can manually lock your front hubs, try that. The auto hubs on my 2006 F350 died years ago, so I manually lock them each winter. Sometimes I forget and think that my 4wd isn't working.

    If the hubs are locked, I'd try putting it in 4lo. If that engages, then try 4hi.

    Unfortunately my mechanical skills are limited to turning switches, so if none of the above works, I can't help.
  3. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Bet it still has the auto hubs on it correct? They're common to stick in the unlocked position after long periods of inactivity and never were the most reliable things anyway. Do yourself a favor and replace them with a good set of aftermarket manual hubs. Should be done on any plow truck of that era regardless.
  4. broncscott

    broncscott Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    Unlock the hubs and have someone look to see if the front driveshaft moves when the switch is turned on. If it moves its in the hubs if not it could be the electric actuator on the trans. You can remove the actuator and turn the boss with a wrench to engage the 4x4. Hubs sometime stick. I replaced the auto hubs with Warn hubs. Scott
  5. Rick547

    Rick547 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 537

    On my 99 F150 I had a same problem last year with my electrical actuated 4 wheel drive. The vacuum line to the actuator was bad. One it was replaced everything worked fine.
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Bang on the hubs with a hammer.
  7. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    And if that doesn't work...get a bigger hammer. LOL.

    But ya if it has those auto hubs...they can stick. Remove, lube real well or just replace them. I'd go with replacing them.
  8. snow tender

    snow tender Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    Thanks I will check it out in the morning. Never been a fan of the auto hubs.
  9. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Never had a 97 but had 99 that had autos and vacum line would fall off and no 4wd Replace hubs with warn lock outs
  10. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,054

    Is you truck a HD or Light Duty, if memory serves me correctly the 97 HD didn't come with push button (Mickey Mouse 4WD). But they did has those POS auto hubs, if it's a HD buy a set of OEM or Warn hubs.
    If it's a Light Duty it's probably the actuator or vacum line as others have mentioned.
  11. mikespenny

    mikespenny Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    The biggest problem with the auto-hubs is that people OVER grease them. For the best operation, you need to lube the things with gear oil, and not pack them with grease.
    Going to manual hubs does simplify things, and cut out alot of the chance for error. Heck, back in 97, my boss's brand new f350 had to be pulled out by a 85 suburban, cuz the auto-hubs failed first time out
  12. snow tender

    snow tender Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    It is the light duty truck. And I thought I was told before that Warn hubs are not available. I will let you know what I find Thanks.
  13. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 877

    I had to replace the hubs on my 2006 F350 CC last year. I wanted to put Warn hubs on because I had heard alot of good things about them, but apparently nobody makes replacement hubs for that truck other than Ford, so I ended up putting Ford hubs on again.

    Seemed kind of odd to me, as you'd think that with all of the Superduties out there that there would be a good market for them. I did search online and came up with the same result - could only use a Ford hub.
  14. Ultra Duty

    Ultra Duty Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 65

    If its the light duty truck than its basically a F150 style same as 97-03, and its probably a vacuum line or vacuum actuator on the firewall.
  15. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    diddos , frozen condensation in vacuum hose
  16. snow tender

    snow tender Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    Firewall cab side or engine compartment